What’s Huang Blog Utilizing Self Hosted WordPress & Free Plugins

Wordpress

WhatsHuang.com is a blog by me, Howard Huang.  It’s a blog that reflects on my personal knowledge and opinions on online social business strategy.  I have done blogging before through MadeLoud.com, an online music community that I’ve founded, but have never taken initiative to start a personal blog about the challenges I faced being a young entrepreneur.  I decided that in order to stay sharp with my writing skills, better understand the blogging world, and to have a place to share business insights I needed a flexible, robust, blogging platform.

After some research I went with WordPress as my platform.  Since I am new to the world of WordPress I decided to do an informal case study to document the tools I found to build my blog.  I used lots of Google, suggestions from friends, and well documented resources from the WordPress site itself.

Goals & Challenges

  • A robust and well supported Blogging platform
  • Needs to be self hosted
  • Low cost and low maintenance
  • Ease of customization
  • Moderate Scalability

Solutions

The internet has so many blogging platforms to choose from that it literally made my head spin.  I considered creating the entire blog from scratch through HTML, but since WordPress is now the most popular Blogging Platform with the largest support and plugins available it was a no brainer.

I wanted the advantages of having a self-hosted blogging platform.  After purchasing the domain through Godaddy I later discovered a set of recommended registrar and hosting services that WordPress recommends.  I choose BlueHost to host the blog.  In hindsight, I should have purchased both my domain and web hosting needs through BlueHost to save myself the hassle of setting my nameserver on Godaddy to BlueHost, but what is done is done.  Total cost of getting my domain registered and a years worth of web hosting = $75

I knew that I needed a blog that had a good categorization and taxonomy of the content that I was going to write with good SEO.  WordPress, in my opinion, does not come packaged with good SEO out of the box.  Fortunately, there are some awesome plugins to fix that.  I experimented with 3 different SEO plugins and eventually settled with All-in-one SEO.

The next thing that I needed to figure out was what I wanted the blog to look like.  I know next to nothing when it comes to CSS (hopefully I can devote some time learning).  I found that there were more than enough Free WordPress Themes to choose from.  I picked the Free Vigilance Theme by Theme Foundry.  It looks good, flexible enough to customize menus the way I want them to look, and a breeze to install.

Visitor engagement is an important priority for me.  I had to find simple sharing options and a well moderated comments feature.  I experimented with over a dozen sharing plugins but eventually settled with this simple sharing plugin.  Lots of simple customizable options.  For comments, I have heard great things about disqus.  I went ahead and tried it out

While setting everything up I made sure that all of my changes and testing wasn’t publicly displayed.  I used the Under Construction Plugin to throw up a wall for any would be visitors and to mask it from being indexed by Google.

Results

I’m very pleased with the results.  From the moment that I committed myself from buying the domain to launching the blog live for all to see took 4 days in my spare time.  WordPress has proved to be a great platform to work with.  I don’t feel I’m limited in anyway and excited to see my experience and knowledge grow by sticking with the platform.

Word Press Plugins Used

Domain Purchase

Web Hosting

WordPress

Theme

SEO

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